I Woke Up Late, How The Heck Do I Time My Meals?
Yes, keeping meal schedules are important to kick your metabolic rate into high gear. The problem is, not everyone can maintain the same sleep schedule 7 days per week.
Personally, I have noticed the most effective results by keeping meal times or approximate meal times ie. Breakfast anywhere between 7 and 8, Snack between 10:30-11:30, Lunch 2-3 etc.
During initial stages of my weight loss and lean down, I would make it a priority to time my meals. I would aim to set alarms so as not to accidentally forget to eat. After months of this, whenever I was slightly late for a meal, my body would NOT let me forget, I had managed to jump start my metabolism and it has been a powerhouse ever since.
There were some days when I was out late and unfortunately did not wake up as early as I would have liked to. On these days, rather than stress and cause the release of cortisol and other negatively impacting hormones, I would just eat as soon as I woke and continue with the rest of my day separating my meals every 2-3 hours but would aim for dinner on my regular schedule. For example, if I slept in until 9, I would eat breakfast anywhere from 9-10, snack 12-1, lunch 3-4 ect and would still manage to get dinner in before 9pm, which is normally 2 hours before bed.
As long as you are eating your LAST meal 2 hours before bed so that your body has a chance to digest and assimilate nutrients, you will be fine. You can then resume your normal eating pattern the next day.
Mistakes I have made that have affected me negatively:
- There were times (over Christmas) when I was perpetually sleeping later and eating later, then of course rising later. Over a period of a month, it was REALLY hard to get back on track with normal meals, weight increased a few lbs as well
- Trying to lump 2 meals together if I woke up late, for example, I would do my afternoon snack and combine it with my dinner values for proteins, carbs and fats. This made for a really heavy meal and I found myself getting hungrier later, despite eating a huge meal
- Do not sacrifice sleep! First and foremost, get your sleep in, this will be FAR more effective than forcing yourself up to eat because your stress hormones will be elevated all day and you will be prone to sugar cravings and cravings in general as your body will be looking for energy from food
- Do not skip breakfast!!!
If you do sleep in way past your time, just continue eating your meals the same way you would and follow your body’s natural rhythm. The key is to have a meal upon rising, eat every 2-3 hours and consume your last meal at least 2 hours before bed.